Welcome back to Trending, the weekly newsletter highlighting the best of BI Prime’s tech coverage. This is Alexei Oreskovic, Business Insider’s Global Tech Editor and West Coast Bureau Chief, and I’m always eager for your feedback, thoughts and tips at email@example.com. And remember to sign-up here to receive the newsletter in your inbox every week.
This week: The trade war’s ripples are stirring up rough seas across the tech landscape.
As the stock market gets whipsawed by Trump’s on-again, off-again trade war with China, and fears of a recession mount, tech companies are in tough position. If you’re Tim Cook, you can get an audience with Trump and try to sweet-talk the commander-in-chief into granting Apple a special dispensation. For most companies though, there’s not much to do besides crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
As Rosalie Chan reports, the risks and uncertainty are not limited to tariffs on hardware companies reliant on China supply chains. Businesses in the cloud are also vulnerable, as was evident in cybersecurity company Cloudflare’s IPO paperwork. Cloudflare called out the tough trade negotiations and tensions between the US and Chinese governments in its S-1 filing, noting that its local Chinese partner could choose to terminate its partnership early, or not renew it. If that happens, Cloudflare could be locked out of the China market right before its IPO.
Read the full story:
Cloudflare’s China business hinges on a partnership that’s threatened by the trade war. And it could all blow up in September, the same month Cloudflare wants to IPO.
Interview: NetApp’s CEO says the trade war won’t end this year and the tech company is preparing for ‘a variety of difficult outcomes’
In an interview with Ben Pimentel, NetApp CEO George Kurian (whose identical twin brother is the CEO of Google Cloud) spoke of the impact that the ongoing trade and economic uncertainty is having on capital spending among large corporations — a worry echoed by Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. If Kurian’s bleak outlook on the trade war is shared by other tech execs, business leaders are likely bracing for a long winter: "We don’t expect normalization of the trade regime this calendar year," Kurian says.
A high-ranking executive at Palantir, the big data company criticized for aiding the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, is now at Google.
Arvind KC, who worked for Palantir for almost five years as its chief information officer, was hired in July by Google to be a vice president of engineering, Rob Price and Nick Bastone reported. KC is now a VP of "Corporate Engineering" in the Google Cloud business.
It’s an interesting move, given that Google employees have been among the most active in opposing current US immigration policies, and famously revolted last year over the company’s AI contract with the Pentagon. It will be interesting to see if other Palantir insiders head for the door, as the Silicon Valley startup cofounded by Peter Thiel is increasingly associated with the Trump administration.
Read the story:
Google has quietly hired a key executive from controversial startup Palantir to be a VP of engineering
Other recent tech highlights:
- WeWork wants investors to think of it as a tech company. These 5 slides illustrate how its numbers tell a different story.
- Tim Cook’s pitch to Trump that Apple will lose the edge to Samsung because of tariffs makes no sense
- Startup founders need to distance themselves from big tech, according to the CEO of famed startup accelerator Y Combinator
- This tech VC is based in Singapore, not Silicon Valley. And the startups she’s seeing are solving problems Silicon Valley isn’t even aware of.
- How the ‘Jio effect’ brought millions of Indians online and is reshaping Silicon Valley and the internet
And more from across the BI newsroom:
- Leaked internal memos lay out Deutsche Bank’s new org chart following a massive restructuring and 18,000 job cuts
- Cloudflare’s CEO protected Nazis and sex workers on principle — now the internet’s most ethical exec will have to answer to Wall Street as it prepares for an IPO
- INSIDE VIACOM: What employees are saying about the blockbuster CBS merger and think will happen next
Thanks for reading,
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